Maddy Armstrong Provides Strong Leadership for Lethbridge Steel

Mark StaffieriContributor IIMay 16, 2013

Lining up against the Edmonton Storm, Armstrong has emerged as a leader for the Steel (Image supplied by Steel)
Lining up against the Edmonton Storm, Armstrong has emerged as a leader for the Steel (Image supplied by Steel)

As one of the leaders for the Lethbridge Steel of the Western Women’s Canadian Football League, Maddy Armstrong is an anchor on the team’s defensive line.

With the Steel having finished as runner-up in the 2012 WWCFL championship game, Armstrong is eager for another opportunity for the league title this season.

Like many women in the WWCFL, Armstrong plays both offense and defense. Donning No. 14, she competes at the fullback position on offense, while lining up on the defensive line. While her priority is to give the Steel an opportunity to win, the offensive side of the game has emerged as her preference. “This season, offense has to be my favorite," Armstrong said. "I am always hungry to help the team put points up on the board.”

Compared to other women in the WWCFL, Armstrong did not grow up as a fan of pro football. While other players had cheered for their home teams in the Canadian Football League, Armstrong’s interest in football came from a chance encounter.

“I never really had an interest in football before our first season, but three or four of my close friends saw the posting for the team and decided they wanted to play and that I should come along for the ride.  Best decision I have ever made!”

That decision has paid remarkable dividends for Armstrong. She was one of the key leaders for a Steel squad that finished the 2012 WWCFL season with an undefeated record and first place in the Western Conference. Named as the Steel’s Most Outstanding Lineman in 2012, the award is a great point of pride to her.

“It’s always an honor to know that your team and coaches recognize all your had work and skills on the field. But the most special part of last season for me was the success we reached as a team. I was only a small part of a huge team effort.”

During the Steel’s first game of the 2013 season, the squad made a bold statement. Despite a new look roster composed of many rookies; veterans like Armstrong brought a solid presence to the gridiron. With a 74-0 trouncing of the expansion Okotoks Lady Outlawz, Armstrong and her teammates are working towards another run at the title.

“A win is always an exciting feeling. It is obviously part of our team goals for the season. The win was the product of a lot of preseason work by both athletes and coaches.  We have a large rookie contingent this season, but with the poise and confidence they played with last Saturday, no one would know it was their first game ever. For me this was the most exciting part of our first win.” 

With an offseason spent reflecting on a visceral 64-21 loss to the Saskatoon Valkyries in the 2012 WWCFL championship, Armstrong is committed to bringing the Steel to the next level. Armstrong acknowledges that winning a championship will incorporate many aspects.       

“In order for Steel to take another championship this season, we will need to continue with high tempo practices, in-depth white board and video sessions, a high level of commitment from athletes and coaches, as well as a cohesive team atmosphere.

“During our short seasons in the WWCFL, we have always been the smallest team in regards to size and numbers, but in my eyes always the most connected. I felt this was a huge part of our success in the past, and it will be a crucial ingredient to any future successes.”    

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”